What has happened to us and what do we do now?
Periodicals supplement to THE JOURNAL RECORD
2 « June 2018 « Periodicals supplement to THE JOURNAL RECORD « journalrecord.com
HEALTHY MINDS OK
Oklahoma City Police
United Way of
Integris Arcadia Trails Center
Potts Family Foundation
Oklahoma Department of Mental
Health and Substance Abuse Services
Associate publisher and editor,
The Journal Record
Oklahoma Behavioral Health
TRANSCRIPT EDITED BY KIMI GEORGE, csr
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journalrecord.com » Periodicals Supplement to THE JOURNAL RECORD » June 2018 » 3
Mr. Streuli: How do
adverse experiences in childhood
impact a child at the
time and in the future, and
why in the treatment system
should we be asking ourselves what might
this individual have experienced and what
might they have or have not received to
address the underlying issues?
Oklahoma has really high
rates of adverse childhood
experiences. And they have
significant influences on all
of the other negative impacts that we’re all
trying to fix, address, and prevent.
There’s absolutely a direct correlation
between the things we experience in childhood
and the high numbers of Oklahomans
who experience mental health and
substance abuse disorders, incarceration,
adverse physical health experiences. And
when we look at our high trauma rate, it’s
that emotional impact of being exposed to
trauma that affects the course of our life.
So trauma can happen to us when we’re
adults, but it’s much more common in our
childhood and our adolescence, and the
kicker about that is that’s when our brain
is developing, and trauma very specifically
affects the way that your brain develops.
So, at the time when our brain is most
vulnerable, unfortunately, that’s when
Oklahomans and the rest of the nation are
experiencing more trauma.
When I talk about what an adverse
childhood experience is, let me talk to
you a little bit about what that means. For
those of you that aren’t familiar with the
ACE Study, they were specifically looking
at long-term, really awful health outcomes
for people, and they were looking to figure
out what the root cause was.
The common factor [they found]
among adults who were struggling with
serious physical health issues and mental
health issues, brain health issues, was that
they’d experienced profound trauma in
their childhood. That was the root cause.
What they specifically looked at was
recurrent physical and emotional abuse,
sexual abuse. If you were living with someone
who had untreated addiction issues,
or untreated mental illness or someone
At the time when our brain is most vulnerable,
unfortunately, that’s when Oklahomans and the rest
of the nation are experiencing more trauma.
who had attempted suicide; someone in
your house, particularly a parent, had been
incarcerated [or a victim of] domestic
violence. Parental separation or divorce is
one of the factors for adverse childhood
experiences; and then emotional and
Now, several studies also directly look
at the issue of economic stability in the
family because that has a high correlation
So knowing that each adverse childhood
experience adds up, if you think
about it as a score card, each adverse
childhood experience being a point, the
higher the number of adverse childhood
experiences or points that you experience,
the more likely you are to have all of the
difficulties in terms of long-term health
outcomes, mental health outcomes, brain
health outcomes, and other things.
For Oklahoma, economic hardship
is actually the most frequently reported
adverse childhood experience. The second
is divorce or separation of a parent. After
those two, you see a little bit of difference
in what the third most common adverse
childhood experience is.
We have the
distinction of being
the state with the
highest number of
For Caucasian kids, it’s having a parent
with an untreated mental health or
substance abuse issue. For our African-
American children it’s having a parent
who’s been incarcerated.
For our Hispanic youth, [it’s a tie between]
having a parent who’s incarcerated
or being in a house with a parent who has
untreated substance abuse.
So, as we think about these adverse
childhood experiences and what we want
to be focusing on, I think it’s important
that we know what our children in
Oklahoma are experiencing most often.
Approximately one out of three children in
Oklahoma experience economic hardship,
which is a really high number compared
to other states. And unfortunately, we
have the distinction of being the state with
the highest number of adverse childhood
So when the national survey of children’s
health did the measure, our children
had the highest ACE scores in the United
The 2012 National Survey of Children’s
Health listed Oklahoma and Montana as
tied for the states with the most children
affected by trauma in general, and approximately
17 percent of the children in
both Oklahoma and Montana experience
an ACE score of three or more.
Ten to 12 percent of our Oklahoma
children have an ACE score that’s four or
higher. So this is not an uncommon issue.
We’re not talking about a few children in
our state. We’re talking about a significant
Having an ACE score of four or more is
associated with elevated risks of developing
seven out of the 10 leading causes of
premature and early death in the United
We see the results in all of our systems
across our state. When we look at trauma
screening for our system, 99 percent of the
individuals we treat for mental health issues
have experienced trauma in their life.
When you look at substance abuse, half
of the individuals or more, depending on
the year that it’s reported, have experienced
We also know that it’s not just our
system. New studies have found that childhood
trauma can raise the risk of heart
diseases in adults. And that particularly
could explain why, unfortunately, we rank
second in the United States for the rate of
My point is that this isn’t a problem that
just occurs. We know that these issues are
all related together.
I think that’s one of the really important
parts of framing this question about what
happened to you. It’s no longer about why.
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Because we know what the common thread
is going to be. So creating safe spaces where
people can begin to talk about trauma —
the root cause of so many of the issues we’re
trying to address — is what’s really going to
increase our success rates.
Mr. Streuli: Chief, I’d
like you to tell us what is a
trauma-informed work force
city and state.
Chief Citty: It’s important,
especially in our profession,
to know what trauma
really is and how people are
affected by trauma. It’s really
important in the work force in general
because it helps us understand each other,
why we may behave a certain way, and
why we may act out.
It’s important because what we do now
and what we react to is based on a lot of
the trauma that we’ve experienced in our
lifetimes, and we’ve all experienced it.
Most of us have been touched by drug addiction
and a lot of other things, especially
in law enforcement.
We don’t put anybody in prison that
isn’t suffering from trauma. Most of those
individuals that we deal with have been
traumatized, they’re probably an eight,
nine, or ten [on the ACE scale].
I knew crime was a family affair. It’s
carried on from generation to generation
because those individuals that are abusers
now, whether it’s domestic abuse or sexual
abuse or those types of things, have been
traumatized and abused at some point in
time in their family.
So many times the old school of
thought for law enforcement was, “Well,
they made me do it. I’m reacting to how
We can’t do that anymore because we
need to understand why they’re acting that
way and deal with that person in a way
that we treat them fairly, that we treat their
issue, not just the person and the threat.
We have a long ways to go because
that’s a cultural change for law enforcement,
but it’s imperative that we understand
what that is and try to learn what
we’re dealing with out in the community.
I could go into internally, too. I responded
to the [Oklahoma City] bombing,
and I noticed officers there were a lot of
officers that were crying. And I found later
when we did a lot of the debriefings, the
officers that were impacted the most were
ones that had the least amount of support,
that had issues when they were children.
So many times the old school of thought for law
enforcement was, “Well, they made me do it. I’m reacting to
how they’re acting.” We can’t do that anymore because we
need to understand why they’re acting that way and deal
with that person in a way that we treat them fairly.
Mr. Streuli: Judge, how
does trauma affect the justice
system and then the people
in our jails and prisons?
Judge Stoner: Somewhere
around 75 percent
of all the cases that we deal
with on a criminal basis in
our courthouse have addiction
[as] an underlying issue. This is not an
open question anymore.
Even our surgeon general has declared
addiction as a national public health crisis.
In my view, it is the public health crisis
of our time, and it is in our courts, in our
prisons. If we could address that, it would
solve most of our problems.
In the last decade, there have been just
incredible advances in technology, in the
study of neurobiology, neuropsychology,
and we’ve discovered some amazing things.
And the effect of childhood trauma literally
alters the architecture of a child’s brain, and
when it does that, it forms in an abnormal
way. And those children grow up and they
look like adults, but they still have that
child brain that’s been affected by trauma.
And if you fast forward 20 years, those
are the ones that become fixtures in our
criminal justice system.
Trauma is not
the only driver
but the studies
that it’s the
Trauma is not the only driver of addiction,
but the studies have shown and I’m
persuaded that it’s the primary driver of
What’s really underlying addiction?
We like to jump to conclusions that this is
about the drugs or it’s about the alcohol,
okay? It’s not. Just because someone has
a drink of alcohol doesn’t make them an
People are prescribed opiates for pain
management. They don’t become addicted,
not all of them. And so it tells us there’s a
missing piece of this puzzle.
There is a susceptibility to addiction,
and there’s three or four things at least
that cause someone to be susceptible to
Trauma is the No. 1 thing, especially
exposure to childhood trauma.
Mental health issues, and mental health
issues and trauma are so closely related,
sometimes they’re indistinguishable.
The other one is genetics. There’s about
five genetic markers that create a susceptibility
The forth on is a lack of connection.
Dr. Gabor Mate called it a spiritual issue
… there’s an emptiness inside, a dissatisfaction
with life, a constant disturbance
of the sense of self. People are just not
So these four factors: mental health,
trauma, the spiritual issue, and genetics
are the driving factors in addiction,
and the people that use the substances
find comfort in them despite the adverse
What is the effect of trauma in a
criminal justice system? If you look at
it in economic terms … what is the cost
of all of our patrol officers running our
jails, running our prisons, the prosecutors,
the judges, the DHS workers that
have to care for the children of people
that are incarcerated? The numbers are
I like to think of the trauma, and the
effects in the criminal justice system is
an opportunity for us to revolutionize
the way that we approach addicts in our
system. We’ve got to get away from the
mass incarceration model, and we’ve got to
move towards a trauma-informed restorative
When we realize that trauma is where
the pipeline of prison begins. I propose
that’s where we start.
Mr. Streuli: Pat, I’d
like you to address why
trauma and resilience —
why we should address
those things and their
underlying causes, and I’d also like you
to include in that a little about what the
Potts Family Foundation’s Resilience
initiative is about.
Ms. Potts: Our foundation
has really been focused
on early childhood. We
know that some 80 to 85 percent
of the brain is developed
the first three years of life, and that is when
the brain is the most subject to positive or
negative growth, and it lays the foundation
for what happens later in life.
The return on investment is the greatest
there, and so that’s a strong piece of what
we are focusing on, the when.
But we have three things that we’re
focusing on that I think fit. One of them
is how important education and support
of at-risk parents is. If we do a better job
of providing that safety net, we will have
much better outcomes for our kids.
A second one is that we need to really
assess and treat early brain and physical
health issues, and we know that as early
as nine months the beginnings of mental
health problems can be observed. Things
that have to do with hearing, sight, all
kinds of health problems that can handicap
a child as they progress into school.
If they’re caught earlier, they aren’t a
We think that’s really important, and
the pediatricians in our state are working
to be aware of what limitations a child has
that can be overcome early and make a
We think the existence of high-quality,
affordable child care is critical in our state,
and we have diminished the subsidy for atrisk
poorer parents for high quality child
care. Most parents — both the mother
and the father — are working, and they
can’t afford child care. You look at the cost
sometimes, it’s very comparable to college,
and yet, that’s the time when the direction
of a child’s life is determined.
Not only should our government be
doing a better job of subsidizing, but it’s
an opportunity for public-private partnerships.
Businesses can come together,
whether it’s in a rural community or whatever,
to make sure that they do provide
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journalrecord.com » Periodicals Supplement to THE JOURNAL RECORD » June 2018 » 5
Eighty to 85 percent of the brain is developed the first
three years of life, and that is when the brain is the most
subject to positive or negative growth, and it lays the
foundation for what happens later in life.
high quality [child care] in communities
where it doesn’t exist and make sure it’s
We’ve been really concerned with the
way the safety net has been decimated in
the last few years and felt any one group
alone can’t change things, but together,
we’re a powerful force.
And so this 25 by 25 coalition began
out of a vision that our state, instead
of being in the bottom ten on almost
everything that impacts families and kids,
should set a goal of being among the top
25 States by 2025, and that’s based on a
lot of measures of what is happening in
Then we have a coalition that includes
some 50 legislators in early childhood. We
just passed a trauma-informed task force
that will be studying the most relevant
and effective ways to deal with trauma and
making recommendations to the legislature
on that. So we hope that will have an
impact on policies and priorities at the
We have a group of business leaders
who speak to civic groups about how
important investment in early childhood
is. We have some 60 allied organizations
that, working together, [add] a stronger
voice on behalf of early childhood, and
I think they have had an impact in the
I really like to describe our goal as
to prevent, heal, and treat ACEs while
promoting resiliency. And although understanding
all the things that go wrong
in our lives is really important, we also
need to be hope-centered in terms of our
response, and we have to be able to move
past understanding the why to what next
and helping people build a sense of their
coping skills, of their ability to succeed
I think our state has been so focused
on punishment when we ought to be
focused on prevention and treatment. All
of you have seen how our communities
pull together when there’s a real crisis,
but we’ve got to be pulling together to
prevent crises on an individual and on a
Mr. Streuli: Dr.
Krishna, could you talk
to us about what helps
and schools be resilient and
have healthy minds?
Dr. Krishna: Resilience
is basically a transfer of skill,
like the coal of adversity
being transformed into a diamond
of beautiful strength.
Human beings have the inner healing
strength that we’re all hardwired with
just like we’re hardwired with the stress
response. That’s the core of trauma, excessive
repetitive stress that pertains and
persists through a person’s life. And that’s
what causes havoc in a person’s mental
health, physical health, and in every possible
way because how their [emotions]
are regulated is affected, and their pasts
are disturbed, and the way they relate to
people is also disturbed, and their health
is severely affected by lowered immunity,
increased levels of various abnormal
conditions in the body that give them all
kinds of physical problems. We need to
reverse that, and that is a learnable skill
set that every one of us can be taught.
Every thought, every
interaction we have,
everything we see
and hear contributes
to changes in the
brain and body
Every thought, every interaction we
have, everything we see and hear contributes
to changes in the brain and body
For example, … if you have a happy
thought, if you smile, if something silly is
pointed out, you have 22 percent circulation
increase right away.
Similarly, if Ted started the meeting
four minutes late and you are angry at him
for the next two hours, your chance of
having a heart attack goes up 230 percent.
These are studies done in medical
centers around the world. So, can you
imagine a young baby born out of this
beautiful, protected, air-conditioned,
shock-absorbing womb with love and
warmth and affection and half-connected
to the Man above and half-connected to
the earth here, suddenly being thrust into
this world that is stressful? On top of that,
how they’re nurtured or not nurtured,
how they’re talked with or not talked
with, how they’re interacted with, whether
they are abused or neglected, all these
factors have tremendous effects on their
inner code of self.
From various parts of the brain like
the prefrontal cortex, the nucleus accumbens,
the center for reward system and
satisfaction and contentment and fulfillment
to the amygdala, which becomes
hyperactive, exacerbating the dangerous
signals from the world [and] keeping the
system in a constant state of turmoil and
terror, activating the hypothalamic pituitary
in the cortical system that pushed
all of these hormones. Normally they’re
very small, but it’s a constant fluctuation
of these hormones which becomes toxic.
The cortisol and the norepinephrine
makes the heart beat fast and blood pressure
So the internal turmoil that’s been
activated — and it’s repetitively activated
by various traumatic events that a person
goes through — causes these changes
according to what Commissioner White
talked about, what Ms. Potts talked about,
what the Chief talked about and what
Judge Stoner talked about, and that is
creating a major public health crisis in the
You know, with the Ebola virus, a few
people died, and the nation panicked. Yet
we have hundreds of millions of people
affected by this permanent disease, and
they die 20 to 30 years earlier than you
and I. Why? The stress hormones and the
amount of turmoil they go through cuts
down the aging process.
What can we do to improve resilience
and the capacity to just grow into a more
There’s hope because we’re already
hardwired with the healing response. We
just need to help people find the healing
response at whatever stage they are.
So what are those things? They can
translate them to schools, they can translate
that into the justice system and the judicial
system and the educational system,
everywhere. The most important thing is
an empathic connection — preferably a
loving, empathic connection.
When you have an empathic connection,
a loving connection, magic happens
in the human brain [and] in the body. You
may not even have touched the person,
but if the person knows you care, that
you’re willing to stand by them, that you’re
willing to guide them and help them to
learn the skills they need and help them
with problems in their life, magic starts to
happen in the body.
A variety of skill sets that can be taught.
For example, cognitive reappraisal with
therapeutically-trained workers who can
help people to reappraise their past and
trauma and see them in a different light
than what they were before with the assurance
that they will not go back there.
You can activate their inner healing
system by simple techniques that anybody
can be taught within a matter of
For example, the vagus nerve, the 10th
cranial nerve, starts in the mid-brain
and goes all the way through the throat
and supplies the muscles here, goes to
the lungs and the heart, supplies the liver
and the spleen and the kidneys and the
intestines, and for a long time doctors and
scientists thought this vagus nerve has
only a one-way tract. It orders how our
stomach should respond, how our heart
What they found by scientific discovery
is some very simple techniques actually
reverse that. In fact, 80 percent of the vagal
functioning is under your command if you
know how to activate it.
When you activate the vagus nerve
through whatever mechanism then
reversal of everything we talked about
starts happening. The hypothalamic
pituitary adrenal cortex starts reversing
itself into more healing response,
more parasympathetic response. That’s
It starts happening within minutes
actually. The telomeres we talked about
chopping off and increasing the aging
process slow down the aging process
6 « June 2018 « Periodicals Supplement to THE JOURNAL RECORD « journalrecord.com HEALTHY MINDS OK
Similarly, the blood pressure drops
down to proper levels, the immune system
starts kicking in and saying I want to be
able to help you, and I want to get ready.
Similarly, how the tissues heal and
repair themselves, start happening right
away. Mindfulness education is extremely
beneficial to people. It is self-awareness
with enormous physiological benefits with
cognitive benefits with emotional regulation
benefits, impulse control benefits.
The simple techniques that can be
taught to people that will save them a lot
of trouble at the same time help them to
grow into healthy human beings.
Mr. Streuli: Debby
Hampton, in your career
you’ve had a front row view
of personal trauma, of large
scale public trauma, and I’m
hoping you’ll talk to us a little bit about
how we recover from trauma.
Ms. Hampton: Some
of the things that we have
to teach people is mental
health, those needs, are going
to go on for a long time.
As I work with the most recent large scale
tornados of 2013, I am still talking to donors
that gave to that disaster and they’re
saying, “What do you mean there’s still
mental health needs and we’re on the fifth
I don’t know if any of you noticed today
is May 3, and how many of you go back to
the May 3, 1999 tornados? And with the
weather we were having yesterday, all of
that is triggers, and we have to really look
at the trauma of disasters.
When I worked for the American Red
Cross, your job was to get in and get out
as quickly as possible. And we never really
looked at the long-term mental health
needs. We are starting to do that now.
We have teamed up with Terri’s group,
but one of the things that I think you’re going
to see us track is after the 2013 tornados
hit, we were able to put counselors in every
one of the Moore schools. They’re still there
today. We’re looking at them going to 2019
at this point. Not that the needs won’t be
met in 2019, but honestly, the resources will
have been spent.
That’s the piece that I think we need to
look at. We have the right programs. We
have the right agencies to do the work. We
just need the resources.
Mr. Streuli: Tricia
Everest, we would like you
to talk about what we can
Ms. Everest: I help
to bring the community
together and bring projects
out to the community, and
to be sitting here with these
leaders in each of their own professions is
quite an honor and quite representative of
what we can do.
Debby brought up a good point with
the Red Cross that you’re trained to get in
and get out. Well, the Red Cross should
maintain that, but not having known that
or heard that… It’s one thing to keep educating
or keep talking about the problem,
but if we bring people together, use this
type of forum and say, ‘this is what I do’
and to not look at it as a fight for resources
or not look at it as a I am a social worker
and I can’t talk to law enforcement or law
enforcement can’t talk to medical. If we sit
there looking at the people you wouldn’t
think you’d be working with and start
working and planning together, then we’ll
be able to create faster solutions and be
able to start changing.
I’ll use Remerge as an example where
25 people, 25 organizations came together
under the United Way. They’ve created a
diversion program for mothers [in] prison
for non-violent offenses.
We have an average of 50 participants.
Their average ACE score as a group is 4.6
to 4.8. Seventy-eight percent of them had
grown up in the judicial system – either
delinquent or deprived.
We know how to start coming together
and recognizing that if we help those
women, then we’ve helped their generation
in getting those kids out.
When we built Palomar, we had over
142 different people in a room, all stakeholders
coming together that not all had
ever worked together.
Palomar [now] has 26 agencies working
together under one roof for victims
of domestic violence, sexual assault, elder
abuse, bullying, cyber stalking. And you
look at how these people now that we have
agencies working together in law enforcement
… now that they sit together and
they’re looking at certain cases, there’s new
solutions being formed just by bringing
people to the table. If we start treating
people different, start recognizing that
all of this is predictive, we can go back to
looking at these average childhood experiences,
we can keep going higher up the
river and start finding those pathways that
[Dr. Krishna] referred to.
And if we start talking to each other
and sit down and use these types of
forums, then we have shared language
and we find shared gaps in the service
and we’re able to start making solutions
so that when the task force comes
together and when the legislature works
on something we as organizations are
already showing examples of how it can
Mr. Streuli: Debby,
you concluded your
remarks talking about needing
resources, and when I
heard that I translated it. It
means you need money, to put it simply,
and I wonder if that’s accurate, or if
It’s one thing to keep educating or keep talking about the
problem, but if we bring people together, use this type of
forum and say, ‘this is what I do’ … then we’ll be able to
create faster solutions and be able to start changing.
you’re talking about other resources, and
if we’re talking about money, where does
it need to come from?
Ms. Hampton: I was
really talking about money,
No. 1, because I can tell you
we need that, but we also
need the right people. We
need to fund the right programs, and we
have those evidence-based programs, but I
think we really have to educate the philanthropic
community, the legislators. We’ve
got to prioritize what we’re doing.
If you look at what we’re funding, it’s
not as much going towards the things
that I feel we need, like prevention. I do
think that Oklahoma is a state [where] we
take care of each other. I know that from
my disaster relief days we never had to
worry if there were enough volunteers.
There would be thousands of people
wanting to help. But I do think it comes
down to educating, reducing the stigma
of mental health and putting our money
in the right place.
Not all abuse or
domestic violence is
because of untreated
mental illness and
addiction, but if you
treat the mental
illness and addiction,
the rates do go down.
If we want to look at reducing
adverse childhood experiences,
we have to make sure
parents are healthy, right?
And so, when you look at the list of
ACE scores, one of them is a parent with
untreated mental illness in the home;
another, a parent with untreated addiction
in the home; another is a parent who’s
incarcerated, and as we heard the judge
say, untreated addiction and mental health
lead to incarceration.
Not all abuse or domestic violence is
because of untreated mental illness and
addiction, but if you treat the mental illness
and addiction, the rates do go down.
And so there is a huge connection
between treating mental illness and addiction
and trauma. I’m not saying it’s
the only answer … but it is the one that
historically has been the most neglected.
It’s very different today thanks to so
many in the media and other people, but
it’s hard for me to explain how underfunded
it’s been for decades. We’ve got to
climb out of that giant hole, and then we
can begin to maintain it from there. But
that is a big issue.
Mr. Streuli: A lot of
what I’ve heard you talk about
seems to me to be very urban
centric. If you’re in Oklahoma
City or Tulsa, the awareness
level and the services might be available.
That might not be true in 70-some more rural
counties that might have fewer accessible
services to people who need them. How do
you reach the rural part of Oklahoma to
educate them and to provide some of the
services we’ve been talking about?
Ms. Potts: I would like
to address that in reference
to the film, Resilience, which
we have been showing. I
think there’s 31 showings
we’ve had already, and well over 2,000
people have observed it.
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This Resilience film helps people connect
with the experiences they’ve had or
folks they come in contact [with] have had.
And I think rural communities can
respond just as well. I have a sense that
our reliance on state funding, leadership
maybe is overdone, and that communities
can come together, and part of the
showing of Resilience is bringing together
a group of experts that represent law
enforcement and the medical profession,
schools, whatever, to come up with solutions
within their communities along with
the business community.
So the resources are certainly fewer. I
think technology can be a big help in that,
but it ultimately comes down to each of us
to work within our communities.
And by the way, that film – we are making
it available, it’s free, and we take it all
over the state.
So it’s a way of increasing awareness,
but we are so aware of how important it is
to move beyond that awareness to being
hope-centered and what are the actions
that we can take in schools and communities
with law enforcement that give hope
and opportunity to people.
Chief Citty: We have
a program called our crisis intervention
teams, and we do
a lot with Terri and her staff
in trying to teach other rural
areas and other law enforcement agencies,
but you’re never gonna have enough money
to put all the resources in rural areas.
Every rural area will have access to a
treatment center, those types of things, but
you can make them more accessible.
Somebody from far southeastern Oklahoma
shouldn’t have to come to Oklahoma
City to find a bed. It happens now,
though, and it’s better now for the work
that Terri’s done and some of the crisis
centers and some of the things that we’ve
put in place. Tulsa used to bring theirs to
Oklahoma City because they didn’t have
enough beds. Well, that’s absurd.
So your larger metropolitan areas obviously
is where you have a concentration of
those issues and problems, but if you have
more stringing throughout the state that
would be at least more accessible that would
be a big, big help in the area of treatment
whether it’s addiction or mental health.
The other this is [there are] so many
great agencies doing so many great things,
and to identify what needs to be done, it
can be overwhelming and the dollars can
be spread so thin because there’s so many
people doing great things.
I think Palomar is a good example
of actually using those resources much
more efficiently and bringing groups
together. Even the police and legal aid
found out they have a lot of similarities,
and they work great together where
before cops didn’t care, legal aid they
[didn’t] talk to us. When they put them
together, all of a sudden, they found out
cops do care, and legal aid can really
help us. And so you’ve got cops that
want to do a better job, and legal aid
that feel, ‘we’ve got these resources right
One place we have that needs to be addressed
is our school system.
We have these institutions where we
have our youth captured. But you walk
into most schools and they don’t have
enough counselors. They don’t have mental
health professionals, somebody that
can truly identify what a child’s problems
are, and it may be the problem is at home
and the resources are needed at home. So
that kid doesn’t go home worried about
getting beaten up and have to worry about
that on a daily basis.
I’ve always been frustrated with why
those dollars haven’t been spent at that
level because when I first made chief 14
years ago, the media asked me, well, what
can we do to make things better, how can
we lower crime, and my response then and
it’s the same today, is get our kids through
school, get them an education. But they
have a hard time doing that faced with all
of the trauma that they may be experiencing
at home or have themselves. Why we
don’t put some dollars into that front end
is beyond me.
Judge Stoner: Where
this begins is if there was
a class in school on mood
regulation, because ultimately,
addiction is not being
comfortable with your mood.
Having classes on mood regulation,
teaching mindfulness and intentional
breath work, these are powerful tools and
they’re free. You gotta teach them, but
these are skills that a child will take with
them for the rest of their life.
Intentional breath work is a powerful
tool. It’s used by the Navy Seals to stay
calm in battle.
But this is something we need to be
teaching children in our classrooms, and
to me, it’s on par with a lot of the subjects
that we teach kids.
We should be teaching it in prisons.
We’ve got to have a monitor that says this
is going to be a very stressful experience
for you. Learn how to breathe.
Dr. Krishna: I think
most importantly we should
remove the stigma. Because
in most of the nation people
think of mental illness and
addiction and trauma as moral failures.
They don’t realize these are disorders of
the brain … and these disorders can be
treated and prevented.
We need to have more and more activism
in promoting the concepts on wellness
and the concepts of healing.
Mr. Streuli: If there
is one thought you didn’t
get a chance to express here
today that you were especially
hoping to, please take
a moment to do that.
Ms. Potts: Our schools
need to be teaching for life
rather than teaching to test
and the pressure they have to
do the opposite is negative.
8 « June 2018 « Periodicals Supplement to THE JOURNAL RECORD « journalrecord.com HEALTHY MINDS OK